The holidays come around every year. A total solar eclipse, on the other hand, is a much rarer occurrence.

On April 8, one will be visible in the United States, from Texas up through the Midwest and into the Northeast. If you are in the path (find out if you are:, be prepared for visitors — lots of them.

Writing on Main Street America’s blog, Meghan Cole, executive director of Carbondale (Illinois) Main Street, describes her
community’s activities during the last eclipse in 2017 and offers tips for those who are on the path of totality this time around:

  • Plan for crowds. Carbondale attracted 30,000 visitors. Cole recommends special branding and merchandise for the event and said to “have ANYTHING that says ‘Eclipse’ on them… people will buy them!” The city also hosted a free, three-day music
  • Work with local schools, libraries, and other organizations to help visitors and residents learn more about the eclipse in advance.
  • Plan ahead by ordering additional inventory, expanding hours, and encouraging residents to volunteer for local activities. It is also a good idea for merchants and business groups to communicate with residents about traffic patterns, possible parking shortages, and other effects of extra visitors.

Cole will presumably take some of her own advice in April, as Carbondale will once again be in the eclipse path.